Growing up Irish in Philadelphia, St. Patrick’s Day has always meant fun activities like wearing green to school, making Irish Potatoes and attending the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. Chasing leprechauns who graciously left trails of gold coins was also a favorite. Now that I am older, it means hanging out with friends and family with the staples of good Irish living: beer (Guiness for me), native foods and live Irish bands. Here are three places that will give you all this and more:
The Shamrock Celebration is a large festival held March 16 and 17 from 12 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. at The Piazza at Schmidts, 2nd and Germantown Rd. $15-20 tickets include cover charge, first drinks and live bands. For more information, call 856-438-6405 or www.upcomingevents.com/Philadelphia/st-patricks-day-philly-the-piazza/pfg/
The Erin Express, a pub crawl started by the owners of Cavanaugh’s Restaurant, is a safe way to experience different pubs. A free bus runs between participating bars between 12 pm and 5:30 pm on March 9 and 16th. I always know its time for the Erin Express when I can’t drive down Frankford Avenue in Mayfair because it is a sea of green weaving from bar to bar. For more information, go to http://www.cavanaughsrestaurant.com/eventErinExpress
The place you will find me and my Colombian, honorary Irish, husband is The Red Rooster Inn at 7960 Dungan Road. It is our home away from home because the staff is always friendly and caring. St. Patrick’s Day weekend is their biggest weekend of the year.
“It is good to get here early to claim a spot,” Elizabeth Thompson, bar manager, advised. “It gets crowded early.”
Both Saturday, March 16 and Sunday, March 17th, there will be live music, and plenty to eat and drink. On the menu will be Ham and Cabbage, Irish Stew and Shepherd’s Pie. To quench your thirst from singing too many Irish ballads, there will be Guinness, Harps, Magner’s Cider and Smithwick’s. Fake MacKenzie and No Irish Need Apply are scheduled to perform both Saturday and Sunday. Earlier in the day, it is very family-friendly so you can bring your kids. For more information, call 215-745-1919 or visit them at www.redrooster83.com. Come visit Liz. She will be there all weekend.
Tracey Romero is a freelance writer, struggling to balance four kids and a writing career. On St. Patrick’s Day you will find her at The Red Rooster enjoying a pint of Guinness or two.